Plasma steroids and cardiorespiratory fitness response to regular exercise

Zihong He, Tuomo Rankinen, Arthur S. Leon, James S. Skinner, André Tchernof, Claude Bouchard

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


The aim of this report is to evaluate the relationships between baseline levels of adrenal, gonadal and conjugated steroids and baseline cardiorespiratory fitness, as assessed by maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), as well as its response to a standardized exercise program. To address this aim we used a subset of the HERITAGE Family Study (N = 448). In men, significant positive associations were found between baseline VO2max/kg weight and plasma levels of androsterone glucuronide (ADTG), dihydrotesterone (DHT), 17 hydroxy progesterone (OHPROG), sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), and testosterone (TESTO), and negative association with aldosterone (ALDO). In women, only the free androgen index (FAI) was negatively associated with baseline VO2max/kg weight. Neither baseline plasma steroid levels nor SHBG concentrations were associated with the gains in VO2max resulting from exposure to the 20-week aerobic exercise program after adjustment for baseline values, age and ethnicity (white or black). We conclude that baseline plasma steroid levels are only weakly associated with individual differences in cardiorespiratory fitness in the sedentary state in men but not in women, whereas no association could be detected with trainability, as defined by the change in VO2max with the exercise program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationResearch and Perspectives in Endocrine Interactions
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages18
StatePublished - 2017

Publication series

NameResearch and Perspectives in Endocrine Interactions
ISSN (Print)1861-2253
ISSN (Electronic)1863-0685

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments The HERITAGE Family Study has been supported over the years by multiple grants from the National Institute for Heart, Lung and Blood Diseases of the National Institutes of Health (HL45670, C. Bouchard and T. Rankinen; HL47323, A.S. Leon; HL47317, D.C. Rao; HL47327, J.S. Skinner; HL47321, J.H. Wilmore, deceased). CB is partially funded by the John W. Barton Sr. Chair in Genetics and Nutrition. Zihong HE is funded by the China Scholarship Council (File No. 201603620001) and China Institute of Sport Science (2015-01, 2016-01). We would like to express our gratitude to Dr. Alain Belanger (retired) and his staff from the Molecular Endocrinology Laboratory of the Laval University Medical Center in Quebec City, Canada, for the assays of the steroids and their dedication to the HERITAGE Family Study.

Funding Information:
Disclosures AT receives research funding from Johnson & Johnson Medical Companies for studies unrelated to the present paper.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, The Author(s).


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